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Monday, 1 December 2014

12 Days of Christmas ~ Meet Emma L. Adams

Which experiences in your novels are taken from real life?

The Darkworld series is set at a fictional university, and a few people have asked me if anything is taken from real life, as I actually graduated from university last year. The truth is: yes and no. Writers often borrow details from the world they observe, and as I was deeply in the often bizarre world of student life, I absorbed a lot of details – some of which I included, some which I didn’t.

Firstly, I never base my characters on real people, so any parallels are completely unintentional. Secondly, the area of England I set the books in is close to the place I went to university, but the town and university itself is fictional. Thirdly, no, I’ve never seen a demon. ;) The demon is actually based on a monster I created for another series entirely, and it was only when I thought of this idea that I realised I could get more out of it if I used a university setting.

But there are a few things that have crept in that do have some basis in personal experience. Ash’s fear of interviews, for one thing. I had a horrendously embarrassing interview at a university which ultimately ended up rejecting me. My mind went blank when they asked me what I liked to read, and I ended up babbling nonsense, concluding with, ‘Um…so…um…I…like, um, reading.’ Not my best day. The good news is, after practice, I can now speak coherently in an interview. So there is hope!

I’ve lived the student life – although I spent more time writing novels than clubbing – so inevitably some of the more bizarre events have a basis in reality, mainly because, as my friends put it, ‘you can’t make this stuff up’! Such as: a guy in a lion onesie purchasing beer in the middle of the day is completely normal. The Role-Playing Society walk past dressed in medieval armour, and you barely notice. You hear bizarre noises from a flatmate’s room sounding like an alien communicating with his mother ship…and just shrug. It happens. You get stranded overnight in the Lake District after the hiking minibus gets stuck on a hill…well, that was a one-off, and a rather traumatic experience! I nearly froze to death. Unfortunately, unlike Ash, I hate cold weather…

But other than that one event (which became a Hiking Club legend!), none of the others are based on reality. The one thing I wanted to convey was the feeling of being a ‘new adult’, of taking the first steps on the way to making your own life. That’s what university meant to me, and although it could be baffling and confusing, it was also liberating. I hope readers enjoy experiencing university life along with Ash – with all its insanity!

Darkness Watching (Darkworld #1)

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Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone  - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...

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Read Chapter One.


“In the vein of Buffy and Supernatural, DARKNESS WATCHING found that perfect balance between the freaky and the fun.” - YA author Jen Estes

"Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better supernatural suspense set-up? From the first page, this book had me hooked." - Rose at Desert Rose Reviews

"A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy series." Sharon Stevenson, supernatural author

“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining. The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into something very fresh and exciting.” - Lexa Cain, author of Soul Cutter

"This is a wildly different story than any I have read about demons...I loved it!" - Kathy at Bookmarks, Spoilers, and Happily-Ever-Afters

Walking Shadow (Darkworld #2)

When you have a connection to the Darkworld, nowhere is truly safe.

Ashlyn has found a new home in Blackstone, but when a spate of grave robberies across the country spark fears that someone is practicing illegal sorcery, she comes under the radar of the Venantium, the protectors of the Barrier between her world and the Darkworld, who are suspicious of any sorcerer unaware of their origins.

The trouble is, what Ash does know might just get her killed.

Sufferers of the dangerous condition known as the vampire’s curse are being brutally killed, and the latest victim is Leo’s guardian, the ex-head of the Venantium. Ash determines to help Leo find out what’s really going on, but it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of control. The dead are rising from their graves, and the barriers around Blackstone are threatened by a demon which looks exactly like Ash herself…

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Fear's Touch: A Darkworld Novella 


This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it doesn’t contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come into play later in the series).

Freakish powers and staring demon eyes aren’t part of Claudia’s plans for the future – and neither is ending up stuck at the gloomy, isolated University of Blackstone. But bad life decisions are the least of her problems, when a split-second decision to help out another magic-user puts her in the crossfire of both the shadow-beasts and the creepy organisation which hunt them down.

Claudia’s never had to worry about making the right choice before, but every decision matters when you have a Darkworld connection. Soon, she’s going to have to make a choice: turn her back on the crazy and try to live a normal life, or take the monsters down.

But in a world where everyone seems to have secrets, can she really trust her fellow magic-users – or even herself?


Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing bizarre, fantastical stories. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, the first in a five-book series. Emma’s books tend to contain monsters, magic, and wildly inappropriate humour.

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Come back tomorrow for a post by Lorraine Wilson
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